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What is the real secret to keeping breading on a piece of meat? No matter what I try the stuff always seems to fall off once I put it in the pan. Is the type of oil an issue? Type of breading? Moisture source (egg, milk?)?

asked by SpecialSka over 6 years ago
10 answers 96129 views
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added over 6 years ago

I think the flour+egg prior to the breading is what really ensures the "stick" of the bread coating on a piece of meat. I've breaded with all kinds of stuff successfully using the three step process: lightly dredge in flour + dip in egg + dredge in crumbs [italian bread crumbs, panko, home made, etc.]. My mom used to make this dish that involved dipping/spreading fish paste on strips of pork before boiling/frying [it's a Taiwanese thing], and her "a-ha" moment came when she discovered that coating the pork with corn starch or flour prior to dipping was what would make the fish paste stick and not fall off during cooking.

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amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

For a basic breading, I dredge the meat, fish or poultry in flour and shake off as much as possible; then into egg wash (egg beaten with a little milk); then into the bread or panko crumbs. (All these elements should be seasoned - s&p and whatever spice/herb you want.) A little assembly line.

The real trick, I think, is to do this at least an hour (or more) before cooking. I lay the coated pieces on a wax paper lined pan and put it in the fridge - uncovered. This gives the breading time to sort of 'dry' and better adhere to the meat. And yes, make sure your oil is hot enough so the the crust quickly crisps and doesn't fall apart in tepid oil.

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added over 6 years ago

Pat the meat dry with a paper towel before putting it into the egg wash. It seems contradictory in terms of the wetness factor, but I learned this from a chef friend of mine and sure enough, it works!

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added over 6 years ago

TiggyBee's advice is good. Very important that the meat is dry before doing any breading.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

thanks--great answers. will try with chicken piccata tomorrow.

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added over 6 years ago

Agree absolutedly with the flour/egg/crumbs process, along with the hot-enough oil. "Frying" in the oven is healthier and less messy, but doesn't yield the same flavor, to me. The other key, in my book, is to leave the meat on one side long enough to get a good golden brown, otherwise the breading will still to the pan. And only turn it once! Patience is the name of the game; you can watch the sides and tell when the golden color starts creeping up. It won't burn as quickly as you think it will!

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added over 6 years ago

Flour-egg (or milk)-crumbs/cornmeal works well. That's how my daddy taught me.

And the oil temp is important. A friend gave me this trick, which he learned in a Chinese cooking class: heat the oil until it will bubble when you stick the end of a wooden chop stick in it. I find that the handle of a wooden spoon works well too. Easier than taking the oil's temperature, and it always works for me.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

Thanks, all! The flour/egg/crumb followed by one hour in the fridge worked great!! My best piccata EVAH, as they say here in Boston. :-)

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 3 years ago

I did some reading and what helps is the suggestion of drying the meat with paper towels before dipping in flour

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